1998 2.7TD - Battery Drain - twinexhaust
My wife runs a 1998 Nissan Terrano, 2.7 turbo diesel. Had the car for just over 3.5 years and in the that time have had several problems with flat batteries and hence non-starting. 2 new batteries have been fitted and 2 home start call-outs required. Flat batteries had been put down to short journeys ? school run, 6 mile round trip. The last battery (Jan 04) was heavy duty. An Airflow trickle charger was purchased at the same time. The Airflow has been used during the night resulting in no more flat battery and failed starts??until last week.

Wife has started doing some longer runs ? 50 miles round trip but the Airflow has still been used at night. After a longish run last week the car was left outside, locked and without the Airflow connected. Came to start the car 2 days later and it would?nt ? flat battery. Connected the Airflow with an extension lead to try and get some charge in the battery for the evening which was unlikely. I came home in the evening. Airflow voltage check was showing 9 volts across the battery. Tried to start the car and the engine barely turned over. Out with the jump leads and jump started it from mine. Left it running a while then back in the garage with the Airflow connected every night again and no subsequent starting problems.

This got me thinking that maybe it was?nt short journey?s that was the problem (although they probably don?t help), but rather there is a drain on the battery. Bought a multimeter and did a forum search on ?battery drain?. Did the check (multimeter in series with earth lead and battery negative terminal) and found that there is a 0.2 Amp (200 mA) drain from the battery with everything switched off, bulbs removed from interior lights (main and boot) and the car unlocked. Seems excessive to me based on advice from this site.

Have done usual checks. Checked the alarm system (combined perimeter and volumetric are fitted) as per posts in this forum ? no increase in the amps reading. Removed fuses (in cabin and under bonnet) one by one ? nothing gave a drop in the amps reading. Have disconnected the alternator (one large lead and one smaller) ? no change, still 200 mA. Interestingly, when I disconnect the earth lead from the battery and then measure the drain, it starts off at 50 mA and then rises to 200 mA after a few seconds as if something is taking a few seconds to draw the current and get itself energised..but what?

Battery seems OK. Airflow keeps charge around 12.5 V and this increases to around 14 V with the engine running.

Some questions:

- is the 200 mA drain excessive (I would guess yes)?
- is it sufficient to stop the car from being started after 2 days (bearing in mind the car would not start on 9 volts and it?s a 2.7 ltr diesel)?
- should the measured drain have increased with the alarm armed?
- anything else I can check or any other ideas?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 30/07/2008 at 14:26

Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - Peter D
200 ma is high. You have done the right tests but have you managed to disconnect the power feed to the alarm and the radio. The other posibility is the ECU is not shutting down properly but beware of disconnecting it as you may loose imobiliser codes. send an email to www.BBA-reman.com as ask there advice for your model and ECU
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - Number_Cruncher
If you can get hold of a wiring diagram, it should be possible to trace all the units which are;

a) connected to live while the ignition is off.


b) not protected by the fuses you have removed.

One of these will be the culprit.

Is there anything else electrical on the car which doesn't work quite as advertised? If so, this becomes No. 1 suspect.

Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - twinexhaust
Number Cruncher,

Thanks. Looks like I've just found something under your item a) (separate post) but what, not too sure at the moment.
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - twinexhaust

Thanks for your advice. There is a fuse for the radio which I've removed as part of checks which made no difference . The radio needs the ignition at point 1 at least before it can be turned on. Can't be turned on independantly. There is a flashing red LED on the radio front so guess there must be some sort of direct feed to it though.

After reading your post I had another look round the engine bay and just found another fuse which I had'nt seen before. It's 15 Amp and in line with a thinnish wire that goes directly from the battery positive terminal straight through the bulkhead on the passenger side and then under the fitted carpet.

Removed this fuse and did my drain test and hey presto, current drain dropped to 20 mA which is more like it!! but don't know where this wire connects to.

With this fuse removed, started the car and all OK. Radio OK. Did alarm check and current drain did not increase from 20 mA. Perimeter alarm working OK via bonnet alarm switch. Can't test doors from inside - deadlocks. Sat in car with this 15A fuse in and out and locked the car and tried to activate the alarm via the volumetric sensors. Alarm did not activate in both cases (it had worked before as part of original checks). So maybe the problem is in the alarm system but how, I don't know. Wife can do without the volumetric part of the alarm system since she often overrides it via the switch on the dash when the dogs are left in the car.

Seems I have found something that will stop the current drain but at the expense of taking down part of the alarm system. Any ideas on this? Anyone??


Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - Altea Ego
Couple of thoughts

1/ This is an aftermarket feed. IE this has been installed after the car was bought and not a standard Nissan feature or modification.

2/ 15amp is quite big, I doubt an alarm would require this much current.
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - twinexhaust
RF, you're right. I've rechecked the alarm and the volumetric part is working correctly. I guess I did'nt leave it long enough to settle down.

More checking and tracing of this wire leads (no pun intended) me to the rear nearside and behind the side panels. Feeling around behind the panel where the jack sits and the panel for the rear lights, I can feel that the wire leads into connections/tie-ins for the towbar electrics.

Getting closer now. Towing electrics were already fitted when we bought the car and must have been a dealer fit since previous owner pulled a caravan. Towing electrics are used when wife tows her horse trailer so will start to try and see what this wire is feeding. At least I can leave this fuse out for the time being which will hopefully allow the battery to stay charged.

Thanks for contributions.
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - Peter D
This could be a feed to a split battery charger unit for charging a caravan battery. I assume it has eaither gone wrong or was never intended to have a permanent 12 V feed. Regards Peter
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - twinexhaust
That's interesting. Going to connect up the towing electric tonight to make sure that everything that we need still works with the fuse removed. There are two 5 (or 6?) pin connectors on the towbar - we use the left hand one for towing (lights, indicators) and were told the right hand one was for a caravan which we've never used.
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - IanT
Most towing electrics use a relay to drive the caravan/trailer indicators. This relay requires its own 12 volt supply, which should be 12V with ignition off so that the hazard flashers work with the ignition off.

If power is removed from the relay:
1. Flashers may still work normally with no trailer attached.
2. Flashing rate may be affected once a trailer is hooked up.

There may be another relay in the car if your wiring is configured to power a caravan battery charger or fridge. There may also be relays in the caravan, but that's not an issue here.

Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - jc
Yoy've got a 12n and a 12s trailer socket.12n is mainly for trailer lighta and 12s mainly for caravan accessories but there could be corrosion in one or both causing a slight short.
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - twinexhaust
Thanks for all this. I'm going to check it all out to see what's what because my wife is on the road tomorrow so I don't want to pull the fuse and find she's got no lights/indicators.
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - IanT
"... which should be 12V with ignition off ..."

If the relay turns out to be the cause of the current drain, it would make a lot of sense to rewire the supply so that 12V is only supplied with ignition ON.

The only adverse effect would be that the hazards may operate inconsistently if the trailer is attached AND the ignition is off. Which is something I could live with.

Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - twinexhaust

With the fuse removed, I've checked all lights, indicators, hazards, brake lights with and without the trailer attached and all work as they should so will leave it that.

Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - daz2653
Hi Im a new member,and have just bought a terrano 2 and have the same problem as yours.But I have no tow bar but the same fuse from the battery through the bulk head.(2 amp) have you had any joy with your problem if so can you tell me pleaseI keep charging my battery ever 2 days just to be safe. thank you Darren

slt to conform with classification menus (!) Extensive re-quote chopped.

Edited by Pugugly {P} on 05/12/2007 at 19:19

Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - Pugugly {P}
The OP hasn't been back since October 2004 - I've e-mailed him asking whether he respond to your post.
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - injection doc
Hey daz on your terano worth checking glow plug relay & alternator for defective diodes & on some jap vehicles the rear fog lamp has a strange arrangement where they operate with a relay & often draw a current all the time because of the way they are wired. I have seen a lot of these in the past & the relay is normally hidden in the side panels & its notjust for vehicles with tow bars so yours will be worth a check.
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - ScottieDog

Have had this problem too (similar to this and the Terrano battery drain one too).

Similar issues (e.g. no problems for years, short journrneys, swapped a battery 2 monts ago, checked alternator, etc).

Not a mechanic (electronics) but looked into the electrics a bit. Read a manual (I got hold of on the web) and started to understand the issue a bit better (but not fixed yet)...

As with earlier posts, I checked current draw when off. Similar but found pulsing every 3 or 4 seconds to 0.2A (didn't think that duty cycle was bad enough to drain battery, it's probably just the alarm system or something like that).

Observed a few things checking when running...After starting alternator would only get to 11.5 to 12.3Volts....until a few minutes had passed and then would jump to 14.5V ??!! Now I understand why. The EMS monitors the engine temp and keeps the glow plugs on until the engine gets above about 50degC (or a certain amount of time)! That explained the lower voltage suddenly increasing. So even though you're not supposed to turn the engine over until the orange glow plug indicator goes off, the EMS keeps them on anyway (so don't leave your ignition on for a long time without starting the car for one thing).

Does it explain battery drain due to short journeys...maybe...

Also noticed that when the car's hot, if you turn on the ignition and leave it you hear something switching on and off. Traced this to the glow plug power relay (in the wing right beside the battery) That's what prompted me to dig deeper into the operation of the glow plug system. Also made up a ammeter (0.02ohm power resistor to use with voltmeter). This indicated currents ranging from about 100A dropping down to about 60A after the glow plugs had been on for 5 to 10 seconds. I don't know what the current draw is supposed to be, but I think that's quite high considering there's only a 100A fuse in line. So I'm starting to think around there being a glow plug that's got a few shorted wires and drawing too much current.

Anyway all of this is interesting but doesn't fix the car. I now have 4 new glow plugs and (even though the car's only got 34K on the clock) I'm going to change these first (then remeasure the current). If that doesn't fix it maybe it's a dodgy glow plug relay.

I'll let you know...
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - terranoman
I have a similar problem with my 1999 Terrano II draining the battery. Mine seems different to the others mentioned in that if I put a ammeter in series with the battery I initially get around 200mA drain but if I keep the meter connected and wait for about 30 seconds it seems to drop down to about 100mA

Did any of you sort this frustrating problem out?
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - terranoman
I have a similar problem with my 1999 Terrano II draining the battery.


Just checked it again: Disconnected the negative battery terminal and put a 10 Amp meter in series. It starts off drawing 0.7A then drops after about 20 seconds to 0.48A another 30 seconds and it drops again to 0.11A

This can't be a simple shorty circuit surely? Is it the ECU checking the system as the battery is reconnected or could it be an alarm system fault?

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 30/07/2008 at 14:25

Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - Screwloose
It starts off drawing 0.7A then drops after about 20 seconds to 0.48A
another 30 seconds and it drops again to 0.11A

110mv is still 1.4 watts and 4 times too much. Pull the fuses individually and see which one is the feed.
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - terranoman
Done all of the fuses one at a time and no difference, also pulled all the accessible relays, it really is puzzling and I can't work out why it changes, dropping down with time?

The only thing I can come up with is that either the alarm, central locking or ECU uses a certain amount of power each time it sees a battery reconnect until it goes through a "routine" once this is finished perhaps the high quiescent current drain is a combination of the current to run the alarm system and a fault in something else?
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - Screwloose

The progressive drop is quite normal; the plateau at the end isn't. If the fuses don't lose it; then disconnecting main feeds is the next move.
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - Dinu
Is this problem only on the Diesel model??...or is it common to all Terrano models
Nissan Terrano Battery Drain - BlackOnyx
A fairly old series of posts, but just in case someone is looking for a charging / battery fault on a terrano (or any diesel), then check my post at this link.


The problem turned out to be the thermostat stuck open - engine staying cold - glow rail staying on - winter driving (colder) - more headlight use = altinater can't keep up.

Ask Honest John

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